City Rail Link (CRL) sponsors – New Zealand Government and the Auckland Council – have agreed to increase their investment in the project to cater for larger-than-expected growth in rail patronage across Auckland.
New rail transport growth statistics suggest that by 2035, CRL stations will need to cope with 54,000 passengers an hour at peak travel times, rather than the original estimate of 36,000.
The new agreement means the tendering process for the project’s main stations and tunnels contract can now incorporate longer platform tunnels at Karangahape Station to cater for nine-car trains (instead of six), a second Karangahape Station entrance at Beresford Square and additional station work at Britomart, Aotea and Mt Eden stations.
CRL chief executive Sean Sweeney says the announcement is great news for the project and for Auckland.
“We’re really pleased that we’ll now be able to provide 50 per cent more passenger capacity up-front for a relatively small increase in project cost. Having to retrofit the network’s stations and tunnels at a later date would not only cost a lot more in the long-run but require extremely disruptive station closures on the network within a few years of the CRL opening,” he says.
The additional works are not expected to delay the CRL opening in 2024.